WHITE ROCK – Stealing a guitar is a dirty deed, but it won’t sell for dirt cheap – not when it’s signed by the Young brothers of legendary Australian rock band AC/DC.
That’s the story out of White Rock restaurant Charlie Don’t Surf, which recently suffered a break in targeting the establishment’s prized possession, a cherry wood Gibson SG 1961 repro signed by the Youngs.
According to restaurant owner John Carroll, thieves hit his business at around 6:30 a.m. on April 7, successfully prying the guitar’s Plexiglas display case open and making off with the prized six string.
"It was a very popular piece in the restaurant and we had it really wellsecured," said Carroll. "We spent quite a bit of money putting it up in museum-quality Plexiglas that wouldn’t break, but somehow the guy got it off the wall."
The guitar had hung in the restaurant for close to 10 years prior to Monday’s robbery and was signed by the brothers after Carroll developed a friendship with the band’s amp technician, Rick. In fact, because the band has been coming to Vancouver to record their last few albums, the brothers have been known to visit White Rock and Charlie Don’t Surf over the years.
"Rick is a local customer and he works with Angus so he would bring him out to the restaurant and over the years I got to know him and his brother well and they’ve been fabulous."
Carroll said the guitar was undeniably the most popular item in the restaurant.
"It was one of the most photographed items in here," he said. "The customers loved it and people were always going over and calling their friends to look at it."
When asked about the guitar’s value, Carroll said he wouldn’t be able to put a price on it as it was so unique.
"Collectibles are hard to put a value on and I’ve heard some wild numbers, but I’m not in that business so I really don’t know where those things sit."
The guitar is distinct in that Angus drew a devil schoolboy image alongside his and his brother’s signature, something Carroll hopes helps the guitar standout if it were to ever pop up on the black market.
"It’s a bit of a one-off in that respect and it’s now gone into a database that’s sort of an arts memorabilia database, so if it ever shows up at a dealership or auction, this guitar is now flagged," said Carroll. "So from that point of view it would be hard to sell. It’s like stealing a piece of art and then trying to sell it."
As for where things go from here, Carroll noted the RCMP are currently investigating the theft and security footage has been given over to authorities. While Carroll said he was disappointed with the robbery, at the end of the day he just wants the guitar returned.
"This was more of a gift from them, it was a nice thing and we would just be happy to have the guitar back, that’s the main thing," he said. "It was part of the Charlie Don’t Surf heritage, our collection.’" Anyone with information about the guitar theft is asked to call White Rock RCMP at 778-593-3600. email@example.com